Updated on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 10 p.m. - A man who apparently suffered some sort of medical emergency at the Powell Street Station Tuesday afternoon fell down and caught his hair and jacket in the escalator. Police said he later died due to unknown causes.
Horrified witnesses called for help around 1 p.m. after the man got caught in the escalator at the northwestern end of the station. The man was found at the base of the stairway.
The victim is believed to have been going up the down escalator when the incident occurred, police Sgt. Michael Andraychak said.
Officials shut off the escalator while a Fire Department crew cut the man free and performed CPR, spokeswoman Lt. Mindy Talmadge said. The man also received CPR while being transported to San Francisco General Hospital, where he later died, she said.
Talmadge added that the man appeared to have a medical condition that caused him to fall on the moving steps.
The man has yet to be identified and his family hasn’t been notified, according to the City’s Medical Examiner’s office.
Andraychak said police are calling the area a crime scene pending an investigation. Officers want to be 100-percent certain that it was an accident, he said. “They’re still locating witnesses and attempting to piece things together,” he said.
About 10 or more police officers along with Muni employees and escalator maintenance crews reported to the scene as dozens of alarmed onlookers were cut off by yellow police tape.
“I have seen people get hurt on escalators before,” Andraychak said. “But they’re usually children. People have to be careful.”
Staff writer Mike Aldax contributed to this report